“Having been in the publishing part of first-party for many years, there are many pieces in traditional publishing that have prevented many independent developers going down the publishing route. A lot of these included lack of creative control and the inability to make some of the games they always dreamt of making. We are trying to solve a lot of pieces there with GameTrust, and the model covers a lot of things. We can help if a developer needs funding to finish a game, or even kick-off a game.
We may partner in a full development funding mode, or we may have a development partner who has a game that is almost finished and are just looking for someone that can treat their IP in a great way and bring it to market."
He continues: “Also, every IP that we are working with from these developers are smaller-scale games, it’s an area of games development that is pretty much ignored by traditional publishers... we are talking of games with development budgets of up to $15m. Publishers today really focus on the larger franchises and triple-A, where budgets are $30m and above. We are working in this sweet spot that is largely ignored, but we are treating these IPs as if they are triple-As.
We are not just going to put a disc on a peg on a shelf, we are going to treat these games as triple-A by expanding the media. As an example, with Song of the Deep we are publishing a book with Barnes and Noble, and we are also looking at potential TV and movie deals. We are also looking at putting all of GameStop assets behind the game – we will be promoting it as if it is a triple-A, if you walk into any GameStop store today, you will see Song of the Deep reservations and pre-order signage is all over the prime front part of the store.”Now, GameStop also owns ThinkGeek.com as well, which is a brand that sells gaming and sci-fi related items, some of them useful, others just down right hilarious. So they are branching out, which in business can be a blessing, and a curse. Now, about the “no interference” with developers...we have heard this before, and I can only hope that they will honour that deal, or lest we end up with another large publisher who mandates changes to fit market projections instead of fun.